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Full text of "A history of Persia"

324                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
vinces occupied except Gilan. Probably neither side in-
tended to observe the conditions of this treaty loyally.
The Persian Insurrection at Kazvin, A.M. 1136 (1723).
—At Kazvin the Afghans were dealing with a population
which was more virile than that of Isfahan, but, being
ignorant or careless of this circumstance, they treated its
citizens with cruelty and oppression. Consequently, in
a short time a well-planned insurrection broke out, the
Afghans were attacked simultaneously, and were driven
from the city with the loss of two thousand men and all
their baggage. Ashraf, son of Mir Abdulla, returned to
Kandahar with three hundred men, and the remainder
retired on Isfahan, suffering severely from the cold.
This disaster and various defections left only about
fifteen thousand men at Mahmud's disposal at this crisis.
Comparatively few recruits had come from Kandahar to
fill up his depleted regiments, whereas large bands of men
had gone home laden with plunder. Three large caravans
in aU reached Isfahan during his reign, in the last of
which was his mother, who " came to the principal Gate
of the new King's Palace half naked, and what cloaths she
had all in Tatters, ravenously gnawing a great Radish she
held in her hand more like a Witch than the Mother of
a great King/'l
The Massacres at Isfahan^ A.D. 1723.—Mahmud wished
to hold Isfahan at all costs, and he determined to massacre
a large number of its citizens, thinking that he would be
able to rule by the terror inspired in a reduced and
leaderless population. In pursuance of this fiendish plan,
the day after the return of the defeated Afghans the
Persian Ministers and great nobles, with only two or
three exceptions, were invited to a feast, where they were
massacred, and their corpses were afterwards thrown into
the Great Square. Mahmud's next step was to massacre
three thousand Persian guards whom he had taken into
his pay. No sooner was this effected than an order was
issued to put to death every Persian who had served Shah
Husayn. This awful edict resulted in an indiscriminate
massacre which continued for fifteen days without any
1 Kmsinski.